This cheesy baked spaghetti, made with pasta, tomatoes, ground beef or Italian sausage, mozzarella, and Pecorino Romano is a true one-pan wonder that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters at your table.
Cheesy Baked Spaghetti
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 1 H
- Serves 6 to 8
Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C) and adjust the rack to the upper third of the oven.
In a deep 14-inch (35-cm) ovenproof skillet or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil until shimmering, 2 to 4 minutes.
Add the ground beef or sausage and cook, breaking up large pieces with a spoon, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
Toss in the garlic, onion, rosemary, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it darkens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the canned tomatoes and their juices, water, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Add the spaghetti and, using a wooden spoon, turn and stir the spaghetti in the liquid until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring to ensure the pasta cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the skillet.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the Pecorino Romano cheese and then sprinkle the mozzarella on top. Bake until the cheesy baked spaghetti is bubbling and browned in spots, 10 to 12 minutes. If the cheese isn’t browned, you can crank up the broiler and slide it underneath that for about 1 minute.
Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This cheesy baked spaghetti recipe is a great find. Perfect for families who have young toddlers who insist on self-feeding, picky-eaters, and ravenous teenagers (my house!).
When deciding what to make for dinner, I am always looking for recipes that have affordable and accessible ingredients, will please my eaters, and make leftovers. Also, can the recipe be easily doubled and frozen for another evening or to bring to another family on a meal train or a pot-luck party? This checks all the boxes!
I especially like that the dish includes meat but not a full pound. Ahead of time, I would make sure you have a 14-inch oven proof saute pan. I don't think a 12-inch one would cut it. You need all the space for a pound of pasta and all that liquid.
With 10 minutes of morning prep, the dish can be prepared quickly in 20 minutes in the early evening, cooked on the stove for 12, and in the oven for 12. My only changes would be more seasoning, especially since I chose beef over sausage. I would add more salt and red pepper flakes and more quality pecorino. It doesn't have to be the most expensive pecorino but the grated supermarket tubs tends to be overly salty.
I also would use crushed tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes. Young picky kids and some adults might freeze at the sight of chunks of tomato.
I was concerned about the amount of additional 5 cups of water. When the final dish went in the oven the pan was quite sloshy but the final dish did bake up nicely and our pasta was cooked perfectly. Husband had 2 helpings and teen had 3. Now I wish I had doubled it!
This was some of the best spaghetti I’ve ever had. Everybody loved it. The spaghetti was cooked perfectly. The spices all worked well together and the rosemary added so much wonderful flavor. I have never used rosemary in spaghetti and now I always will! The cheese on top was delicious!
The recipe is very easy to follow and the ingredients are easy to find if not already in your cupboard. Clean up is a snap with only using one pan.
I do think that the amount of water should be reduced from 5 to 4 cups. Other than that everything else is perfect.